My Gig as an Asus Santa

The people at Asus recently cast me in a promotional video for the Asus Fonepad. You can view the video here.

The promotional video features two Santas. One is Mister Santa of the Year: Together Santa, Incredible Santa, the guy who always gets it right. I don’t play that Santa.

I play Nick, the Santa who is running late because he has relied on substandard products that fail him when he needs them most. Imagination on my part was hardly necessary, as memories of my last mobile device remained fresh. Here is how that relationship ended:

Drivemaster hammers. Quality product.

So. Back to the 
on-set photos. The picture at the top of this post shows the beard and age makeup done. Below is a shot of the makeup team preparing that look.

As you see, the makeup artists on our team were professional and thorough. Among them were graduates of Taiwan’s Tainan University of Technology and Fu Jen University. We enjoyed meeting, as I was familiar with both campuses.

I appreciated the help getting into the costume. The beard, made of wool, costs around NT$20,000 (US$600). Once applied, we wanted to be careful with it. I had to take care anyway, as I couldn’t see past it!

Here are three proof-of-concept shots that we made three days earlier. The eyebrow and age details were omitted at this stage. The idea was just to see how the main elements worked, get a sense of how expressions read, and make any necessary adjustments. I found that the beard took away some expressive tools. Eyes and overall posture would have to carry more freight than usual in conveying a character.

The photo below shows me on set. I step onto a slanted roof covered with powder that stands two stories above a bare concrete floor. The technicians prepare the lights as I concentrate on non-dying.

This one shows the arrangement: the stage manager watching on the left, the camera and boom, and behind us the green screen backdrop that will be replaced with scenery in processing.

My part of the shoot started in very wee hours. Makeup started going on around 3:00 and I stepped onto the set after 4:00. By then these lighting technicians had entered their 17th straight hour on set.

In the scene, Nick is scrambling to finish an all-night gig in the wee hours of the morning. So, in a way, the scene was shot in real time.

Here I see the photographer lifting her camera and give her a Taiwan-style pose.

In the photo below the stage manager talks me through each step as I climb down. We’re done with the shoot. My bit only took two hours. I’m proud of that, as I wanted to use everyone’s time well.

Many thanks to Jo Hung for the photos and for the gig. Here again is the resulting video.

I do encourage you to give Asus products a look next time you shop for electronics. They make some clever gadgets.

Joyous Noel!

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